Thursday, April 22, 2021

El-Rufai to Ben Bruce: Shut up! Obasanjo, not Jonathan, initiated Kaduna rail project


Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Friday reacted to a statement made by the Senator representing Bayelsa East, Ben Bruce, over Abuja-Kaduna rail.

Mr Bruce had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to thank ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for a train ride in Kaduna, claiming that the rail system in question was “entirely” Jonathan’s achievement.

On his twitter handle, Mr Ben-Bruce said: “I hope President remembers to say thank you to former President for the train ride he enjoyed in Kaduna.

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“Some of us haven’t forgotten that that achievement was ENTIRELY the handiwork of the Jonathan government. Nigeria should give honour to whom honour is due.”

However, reacting to Mr Ben-Bruce’s stance, Mr el-Rufai said kudus should ideally go to Obasanjo, adding that the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo – “which Jonathan was not part of” – initiated and raised funds for the project.

The governor said: “Wrong Distinguished Senator! The Obasanjo administration which Jonathan was not part of, designed, raised the financing and started the EPC of the Lagos-Kano dual track-standard gauge rail system, and the Abuja Light Rail. Yar’Adua-Jonathan stalled both projects for two years!”

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On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari was in Kaduna for the inauguration of the first Inland Dry Port which, according to the President, would enhance economic activities, improve revenue generation and create direct employment.

“The port, when commissioned will provide an easy process for the exportation of farm produce from Kaduna and neighbouring states as well as landlocked countries,’’ the President emphasized.

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NAN reports that a dry port is an inland inter modal terminal directly connected by road, rail and air to a sea port, and is usually operated as a centre for trans-shipment of sea cargo to inland destinations.

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“Being the first of its kind in Nigeria, it is expected to receive cargo from Apapa Port in Lagos, through the railway or by road and also export goods through the same channel.

“And the idea is to establish Inland Container Depots in the hinterland to reduce the congestion in Lagos ports and provide relief for the busy Apapa road,’’ Buhari added.

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